Marking the culmination of a series of increasingly prestigious awards, Head Athletic Trainer Tim “Westy” Weston has been elected to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association’s Hall of Fame. He is one of six athletic trainers nationwide named to the 2022 class.
Weston will officially be inducted at the association’s 73rd symposium and expo June 28-July 1 in Philadelphia.
A Colby athletic trainer for 30 years and head athletic trainer since 2008, Weston is Colby’s second athletic trainer inducted to the hall of fame. Carl Nelson, who worked at Colby from 1959 to 1993 and mentored Weston, was inducted in 1986. The National Athletic Trainers’ Association, or NATA, has inducted just three other athletic trainers from Maine into its hall of fame.
“I’m truly honored and humbled,” said Weston, who was surprised at the election. “To join Carl Nelson means so much to me as he has been one of my mentors from the very beginning, both professionally and personally. It’s a true credit to Colby for allowing myself and Carl to have the opportunities to give back to the athletic training profession that we love so much.”
The honor recognizes the significant work Weston has done at the national level, but also his contributions regionally and, of course, at Colby.
“We are so thrilled for Westy,” said Mike Wisecup, vice president and Harold Alfond Director of Athletics. “He’s a remarkable and special teammate, and it’s incredible that his peers across the country have recognized it as well.” In the wake of earning the 2022 Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association Excellence in Leadership Award and Colby Athletics’ 2021 Impact Award for his leadership during the pandemic, Wisecup said he’s “grateful that the hard work of all of our athletic trainers, and specifically Westy, who is being recognized and celebrated nationally.”
Other accolades for Weston include induction into the Maine Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame in 2016 and the NATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award in 2019.
The NATA Hall of Fame recognizes the best of the athletic trainers’ profession, those who make lasting and significant contributions to the field. Weston’s lengthy record of service with the association includes serving on the NATA board of directors representing District One, the New England region. During his time on the NATA board, he was chosen to be both finance committee chair and NATA secretary. Currently, he’s involved on the NATA Sports Medicine Legal Digest editorial board and serves as the Presidential Elections Procedures Work Group chair.
At Colby, Weston is responsible for the prevention and care of athletic injuries for 32 varsity teams, as well as the club sport rugby. He does so working alongside six athletic trainers, who he supervises. He coordinates team physician and physical therapy relationships with Maine General Medical Center, and he’s the team leader for the Department of Athletics’ Peak Performance program, an innovative approach to providing holistic care for student athletes.
Athletic trainers provide medical services when student athletes are injured in practice or at a competition. “We’re first on the scene when the injury occurs, and then we guide the patient throughout the whole course of the injury process from start to finish,” which includes managing all aspects of their medical care, Weston said.
“We always want to give patient-centered care,” said Weston. “If the patient has a need that I can’t fulfill within my athletic training or sports medicine realms, … whether it’s nutritional assistance, counseling, or sports psychology, my job is to connect them with those resources, whether they’re on campus, off campus, or wherever that might be.”
The athletic training center in the new Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center (HAARC) is twice as large as the previous facility, allowing for more equipment and services, said Weston. For example, he has more room for physical therapy, massage therapy, cutting-edge rehabilitation equipment, and hydrotherapy in the state-of-the-art Carl E. Nelson Hydrotherapy Room.
Weston has seen a lot of changes over the decades, and he’s proud of how he’s grown the sports medicine program at Colby. In some ways, he’s surprised by his longevity at the College, and yet he feels the Colby community is second to none. From the way faculty and staff come together to support injured student athletes, to the coaching staff who respects his role, to the way alumni acknowledge his past work, there’s nowhere else he’d rather be.
“At the games last weekend, I saw so many faculty and staff, from David Greene right on down, there were tons of people in the HAARC creating such excitement,” Weston said. “Colby is always very supportive of our students and our student athletes, and that’s what I really appreciate about working here.”
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